Under the guise of preserving heritage or tradition, any kind of development is often deliberately condemned. But this lack of evolution, contemporary innovation or modernity leads to authenticity loss of the heritage and hinders its organic development. Using the example of UNESCO World Heritage Sites (WHSs), an attempt is made to identify and recognise the impacts that heritage entrepreneurship (HE) can have on regions in order to, amongst others, prevent this condemnation. HE is one endeavour to interpret the economic and entrepreneurial significance of the heritage, not to determine its anthropological value. HE comprises patterns of, i.e., social, cultural, and community entrepreneurship. Research related to HE is still very limited but a constantly evolving practical field and thus a promising topic for the future. The topic will gain currency in research as the interest of practitioners and policy-makers in seeking alternative ways of preserving yet exploiting heritage increases. As part of this pioneering work, a systematic literature in modified form according to the current state of research is carried out first (see Chapter 2). This shows how the perception, acceptance and application of HE has been so far and allows to derive new definitions and propositions. Second, a case study on the Baha’i Gardens in Israel is used to shed light on the complex situation and the sitespecific challenges of managing a – religious – UNESCO WHS (see Chapter 3). Based on known stakeholder approaches, different types of stakeholders, their role and responsibilities in promoting HE are highlighted for pioneering a new understanding and relevance of HE for individual heritage stakeholders and regions made of UNESCO WHSs. Third, the concept of HE that principally demands a contemporary way of dealing with heritage for regions and stakeholders is operationalised for the first time to collect up-to-date data on HE (see Chapter 4). An international online survey is conducted based on the methodology used by the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) to survey the Entrepreneurial Spirit Index (GESI). The aim is to advance the field of research and analyse context factors for predictability and feasibility. Data from 14 countries worldwide show that due to various limitations, there are many hidden, unused opportunities for HE around UNESCO WHSs. It was found that the geographic region (GR) has no impact on the probability of HE. The country’s economic development level (EDL) and the country’s entrepreneurial spirit (ES), on the other hand, seem to influence the presence and growth of HE. The overall research results particularly show that UNESCO WHSs benefit from the integration of entrepreneurial thinking and patterns into their organisational, management and maintenance strategies. With the help of heritage stakeholders on and off site, the entrepreneurial spirit can be awakened in regions surrounding UNESCO WHSs. HE ultimately harmonises the economic use and longevity of the heritage for the sake of future generations. Heritage-based entrepreneurial opportunities are exploited for economic growth, social well-being and heritage maintenance. Hence, HE can contribute to the sustainable preservation of UNESCO WHSs and to economic rationality and social justice in individual countries.

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